By Marq Burnett, Anniston Star:
Nick Saban’s stance on depth charts is well-documented, but that won’t stop us from projecting who’ll be the starter and backup at each position for 2015. While anything can change, left tackle is one of about four spots — along with punter, kicker and center — where’s there’s a clear-cut No. 1 guy. Rising sophomore Cam Robinson has two more years to hold down the left side of the Tide’s line before bolting early for the NFL draft, where he’ll likely be a high pick. Behind him, it’s a bit of a question mark. Based solely on A-Day, Korren Kirven would be considered the No. 2 guy. Kirven started at left tackle with the second-team offense. Whether or not Kirven would be the one to replace Robinson if he went down, is still a mystery.
By Corey Bender, scout.com:
Nick Saban and Alabama garner the attention of some of the Sunshine State’s premier student-athletes year in and year out, including four-star defensive tackle Keyshon Camp. The rising senior out of Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson is keeping an open mind after de-committing from the University of Miami, and hopes to make the trek up to Tuscaloosa in the near future. Keyshon Camp is well aware of Alabama’s rich tradition on the football field, but has yet to get a taste of their campus and needs to do his homework on their educational system.
By Mark Inabinet, al.com:
Three of the seven Alabama players selected in the 2015 NFL Draft last week were ground-breakers. Drafthistory.com sifted its massive data base on the 80 NFL Drafts and found that 65 players – one-quarter of the 256 picked this year – had first names that had never been called previously in the draft. Included in the unique first names were former Crimson Tide standouts Jalston Fowler, Arie Kouandjio and Xzavier Dickson. The Tennessee Titans drafted Fowler in the fourth round, the Washington Redskins drafted Kouandjio in the fourth round and the New England Patriots drafted Dickson in the seventh round.
By Dan Salomone, giants.com:
Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban does not know why Landon Collins isn’t one of them. “I cannot for the life of me think why he would slide in the draft,” Saban said Thursday on Sirius XM NFL Radio about Collins, the safety the Giants traded up to select with the first pick of the second round. “He’s a fine person. He’s got no character issues. He’s played on some really good defensive teams and has been a great leader, so I don’t get it. But I don’t know all that goes on there. Sometimes when you get all the information, it is what it is and people ought to just go with that rather than trying to read something into something that really isn’t there.”
By Kirk McNair, BamaMag.com:
The 2015 National Football League draft in Chicago had barely finished before thoughts turned to “Which Alabama players might be high on the list of pro teams for the 2016 draft?” That usually means Tide players with eligibility remaining. It looks like a large number of Bama stars will be leaving for the pros next spring. Alabama Coach Nick Saban certainly is fine with Crimson Tide players leaving for the NFL as soon as they are ready, meaning a first or second round draft selection for those who have eligibility remaining. This year, the lost Bama players with a year of eligibility remaining going in the first two rounds were wide receiver Amari Cooper in the first round and safety Landon Collins and running back T.J. Yeldon, both early in the second round.
By Paul Schwartz, New York Post:
Landon Collins was in Chicago on Thursday night for the first round of the NFL draft, but when he was not selected, the Alabama product figured he had no reason to stay, so he went home to New Orleans, his attitude growing edgier with each passing mile. “It was tough’’ Collins, the Giants’ second-round draft pick, said Friday night. “It was definitely tough, but I walked out of there with my head held high because I know what kind of capabilities that I have as a player and whatever team gets me, I have a chip on my shoulder to prove why I should have been a first-round candidate. That’s definitely what I will showcase when I start playing this upcoming season.”
By Kirk McNair, BamaMag.com:
A few over 250 were taken in the 2015 NFL draft, and not all of them will make professional teams. Obviously, the chances of making it to professional football career are not good. Even a program as successful as Alabama under Coach Nick Saban, which has had a phenomenal run of putting players into the NFL, had only seven players drafted in last week’s three-day draft. That number of seven was about average in the last seven years under Saban. As usual, juniors from the Tide declaring early were the most successful with Amari Cooper going in the first round and Landon Collins and T.J. Yeldon doing in the second round. Other former Bama players taken were Arie Kouandjio, Austin Shepherd, Jalston Fowler, and Xzavier Dickson.
By Matt Zenitz, al.com:
Antrel Rolle was a long-term fixture at free safety, manning the middle of the field at a high level for the New York Giants for five seasons. Next to Rolle last year was a combination of Quintin Demps and Stevie Brown, both of whom have been productive starters at times during their NFL careers. All three are gone, which left safety as a glaring need for the Giants heading into this year’s NFL draft, one they addressed by adding Alabama’s Landon Collins with the first pick in the second round Friday night.
By Chris Hale, Bama Hammer:
People doubted former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims before the start of the 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide season. I was one of them. He quickly took the reigns and never looked back, leading Alabama to an appearance in the first College Football Playoff as well as an SEC Championship. He became a fan favorite and was even named one of last season’s permanent team captains for the team. Sims didn’t get to hear his name called during the NFL draft but he will get his shot, earning a spot in mini-training camp with the Green Bay Packers. He’s not guaranteed a spot but with his drive and work ethic he displayed last season, I can’t help but think he has a better shot than most to once again prove everyone wrong.